High Schooler Skips College to Build Drones
Technology| | By Margo Gothelf
Meet George Matus, the 18-year-old who skipped college to go to Silicon Valley.
After graduating high school, Matus moved to Silicon Valley hoping to get money from investors for his drone company.
“That was really stressful, walking into meetings and having braces,” Matus told Insider. “My dad was driving me to meetings until a couple months ago.”
Luckily, his hard work paid off. The recent high school graduate is now the CEO of Teal, “a company that could differentiate itself in the crowding consumer drone market by delivering a quadcopter that can do everything from racing to virtual-reality gaming,” shared Insider.
Matus’ drone stands out from the crowd because it is designed to be autonomous and remote-controlled.
“I didn’t want to build just a flying camera,” he says.
The drone comes with 4K cameras and image recognition technology. It is installed with an onboard processor, much higher than the typical drone processor. The drone can also be hooked up to a virtual reality headset to see a livestream of what the drone is doing.
The coolest part about the device is that it is super fast. It can go from zero to 60 miles per hour in less than one second and can go up to 70 miles per hour overall. Matus also explained that it beat Tesla in a quarter-mile drag race drone test.
The only downside to the drone is the battery. While it is still up to par with other drones, it doesn’t stand out from the crowd.
According to Insider, “The drone flies for just 10 minutes and an additional 20 minutes using a high-endurance battery that’s sold separately. Its battery life is on par if not a cut below other consumer drones, like DJI’s Phantom 4, which operates for up to 28 minutes.”
Matus first built the drone in 2015 at Stanford University during a hackathon. It was there that he met with a representative for the Thiel Fellowship, which encourages students to delay college and pay them $100,000 to build new technology.
“I asked them if I could finish high school, and they’re like, ‘Wait, you’re still in high school?'” Matus recalls.
The drone can currently be preordered for $1,299 and will ship later this year.
As for Matus, he still can’t believe this is all real.
“It still feels like a hobby,” he says.
Check out the drone in action below.